IN much of Mr. Jack's work one feels an Oriental influence, particularly in his designs of foliage and flowers, and their execution. He is always anxious to impress on his students the immense value of "pattern background" and economy in the attainment of effect. It is for this reason that he advises them to study the various frets and interlaced straps, and the treatment of

The Sermon on the Mount • Carved Panel for the Front of a Pulpit in Oak • by George Jack

The Sermon on the Mount • Carved Panel for the Front of a Pulpit in Oak • by George Jack

Oriental foliage, in which the edges of the leaves are kept, practically, on one plane, with a deep angular cut down the lobe or division of each lobe. He does not, however, object altogether to the foliage disappearing into the background, but he-objects to the way in which this effect is produced in some modern carving.

The Renaissance wood work of the first half of the sixteenth century, especially in France, is full of beautiful examples of this low relief treatment, although one must admit that it does not show the same spontaneity in the use of the wood and tools that we find in the earlier Gothic work. Concerning the much-discussed question of the propriety of students copying old carvings at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Mr. Jack says, by all means let them study and sketch at the Museum so long as their studies are properly directed; but it is in this direction that one would like to know his views.

Equally important, if not even more so, he considers, are students' visits to the Natural History Museum for studying and sketching. Naturally, he regards the introduction of animal life into ornament as adding greatly to its interest. His own sketches in this direction are delightful. The eagle lectern illustrated herewith is a characteristic example of the vigorous manner in which he turns them to account.

The pencil sketch on another page represents a humorous composition he has introduced in the centre of the bottom rail of a cabinet, with a conventional arrangement of thistle leaves, forming the background.

The academic study of the human figure Mr. lack thinks quite unnecessary for the carver; in

Carved Lectern By George Jack

Carved Lectern By George Jack fact, he holds that the carver will do more suitable work without the knowledge of anatomy. In support of this opinion, he cites the treatment of the figure in the wood-carvings of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries as far more satisfactory than the realistic efforts of the present day.

The panel on page 186, illustrating the Sermon on the Mount, is one of the panels of a pulpit. Another panel, for an altar, represents the Entombment. Both examples evince strong appreciation of the conventions of Mediaevalism.

Another interesting piece of work is his St.

Margaret panel, which constitutes the only decoration of a simply constructed lectern: "The Saint appears in the act of snatching her robe from the dragon's teeth with her left hand, while with her right she firmly grasps her shepherd's staff; over her right shoulder are seen the sheep which she was tending, and on her left the dove and her typical daisy, to which she gave her name (Marguerite) as the emblem of innocence and meekness."

The ivory bosses included among the illustrations in the present notice, perhaps should not appear in an article professing to deal only with wood-carving, but they are so dainty and original and so full of suggestions to the wood-carver, that no apology would seem necessary for their introduction. They were carved in ivory, for the decoration of a book,* for the purpose of protecting the leather binding from friction; consequently the centres are in the highest relief. The variety of the designs affords a refreshing change from the everlasting Tudor rose and Marguerite, which seem to suggest about the only motives for the boss or patera - a useful and indeed often an obligatory feature in the decoration of wood work, but one, however, which need not be uninteresting.

* Through a misapprehension as to the object for which they were designed, they have been reproduced here larger than was intended by Mr. Jack.

It would have been pleasant to have shown some instances of this able craftsman's treatment of foliage and flowers on a broader scale, but no suitable example was available. Mr. Jack's manual, "Wood-carving," has been so recently reviewed in this magazine, that I will only remark that the teacher will find it full of suggestions, to be elaborated and worked out.

III George Jack 621III George Jack 622III George Jack 623Ivory Bosses. Designed and Executed by George Jack.

Ivory Bosses. Designed and Executed by George Jack.

The originals from which these photographs were taken were much smaller, having been designed for the protection of the sides of the leather-binding of a book.

For many years Mr. Jack has designed furniture for Messrs. Morris & Co. His own work, besides carving, includes metal work and gesso, and he is teacher of applied design at the Royal College of Art and the School of Art Wood-carving, South Kensington.

Pyrogravure in Interior Decoration.

Not many years ago pyrogravure - or poker-work, as it was then literally and accurately designated - was merely a fad with which young ladies and others whiled away their leisure time. Now it has become a branch of decorative art of more or less importance, according to the manner in which it is employed. Mr. C. W. Fosdick, the clever American whose panel of Lady Godiva we reproduced recently, applies it to large wall panels, showing that very rich and striking effects may be obtained by the combination of dark lines, gilt spaces, and the natural colour of the wood.

There is no reason why a large room or hall might not be artistically treated in burnt wood, and if combined with other modes of decoration, the effect need not be at all sombre. A wainscoted and open-ceiled hall, or dining-room, or library, of Gothic or early Renaissance design, would offer the best field for such an attempt, and oak, stained brown, would be the most favourable wood. The architectural mouldings should be left plain, and the decoration should be confined to the panels of wall and doors and the beams and panels of the ceiling. For the beams a bold running vine pattern, forming openings to be [occupied by medallions, would be appropriate. The vine should be outlined deeply, so that it will form an incised relief; and the highest parts may be brought out with a little rough gilding. The openings may be filled with shields painted in bright colours, or with conventional rosettes. But the treatment of the beams should be decidedly bolder and less elaborate than that of the panels between, which require to be filled with a more delicately traced design, and to be helped out by a more liberal application of painting and gilding. As a rule, blue makes the most effective ground colour, and festoons of fruit, or strap and ribbon-work in the Renaissance manner, on either side of a central medallion, will be found effective in most instances. The fruits, flowers, and borders may be touched with colour, as well as gilding, but the colours are best applied after the panels are in place, and it is possible to judge of their effect. Such designs as are commonly used in stamped leather work, lincrusta, anaglypta, and stamped wall-papers may often be adapted to use in such a ceiling as we are describing; but the adapter should merely select from them such details as can be rearranged with reference to the dimensions of his panels and the general architectural scheme of the room. Ordinarily, it is well to make the design symmetrical, with a very marked and important centre.

III George Jack 625III George Jack 626III George Jack 627Ivory Bosses 2. Designed and Executed by George Jack.

Ivory Bosses. Designed and Executed by George Jack.

The originals from which these photographs were taken were much smaller, having been designed for the protection of the sides of the leather-binding of a book.

The panelling of walls, doors, and mantel calls for yet more careful treatment, and if judiciously introduced, light coloured woods, such as maple, or, in very small panels, boxwood may have an excellent effect. In this latter case the various methods of scorching and staining the wood come into play. Sole-leather, also, gives very good and somewhat peculiar results. As it burns to a sharp edge, the line produced may be very clean and precise, while even the fine-grained woods give always a broken line. Leather has the further advantage that the background may be enriched by stamping with small hand stamps. It may be painted upon with opaque oil paint used thickly, without any preparation; or it may be silvered and then painted over the silvering with transparent colours.

Pencil Sketch, by George Jack, of Detail of a Carved Cabinet.

Pencil Sketch, by George Jack, of Detail of a Carved Cabinet.

It is waste of labour to attempt to give their general form to objects by means of pyrogravure. All architectural embellishments, such as columns, mouldings, carvings in high relief, and the shaping of chair-backs and other furniture should be produced in the usual manner. The province of the pyrogravurist is to decorate the surfaces left by carpenter and carver. If properly executed, his work blends well with both carved and painted work, and forms an intermediate sort of decoration, which should tend to produce a harmonious general effect. In the case of oak furniture the acid stain may be used to give colour to the ground, saving out the masses of the design, which should be carefully outlined, using several tools, so as to obtain varying depths and widths of line. R. JeRvis.